Berry Global Group Inc. has launched a tooling business to aimed at becoming a comprehensive source of expertise while maintaining regional insight and local support.
"This aligns Berry's tooling offerings to the needs of a wider selection of customers than previously," Kevin Pennington, vice president of Berry's Global Tooling and Automation, said in response to questions from Plastics News.
"With every new project, we want our customers to leverage Berry Global Tooling Services to ensure the highest-quality mold is delivered as quickly as possible, sharing cost efficiencies with our customers as compared to a third-party tooling supplier."
Founded in 1967, the packaging and product maker grew largely by acquisition over the decades and recently posted annual sales of $14.5 billion. As a result of the deals, Berry has acquired significant tooling expertise.
However, the focus now is on organic growth, and for tooling, to create molds for products in-house and closer to their end use.
Berry's organic growth plan focuses on investments in faster growth market segments, such as health care, personal care, hygiene, pharmaceuticals, emerging markets and sustainability, Pennington said.
"As a historically acquisitive company, the consolidation of Berry's tooling operations was a natural next step supporting the business to continue delivering better efficiencies operationally with the added assurance that the molds provided by Berry will fulfill the tooling requirements of its global packaging customers' production lines," Pennington said in an email.
The change will give the company's customers access to a full suite of tooling capabilities that can be integrated into their existing product orders.
"This aligns Berry's tooling offerings to the needs of a wider selection of customers than previously," Pennington said. "With every new project, we want our customers to leverage Berry Global Tooling Services to ensure the highest quality mold is delivered as quickly as possible, sharing cost efficiencies with our customers as compared to a third-party tooling supplier."
Since tooling requires a niche skill set and understanding of regional packaging regulations, many companies rely on independent tooling shops, Pennington explained. He said Berry Global Tooling Services eliminates that need.
At Berry, molds will be developed at one of the company's tooling facilities and transported to a nearby Berry manufacturing facility where production takes place.
Berry has nine global tooling manufacturing locations in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa, including Evansville; Lohne and Mosel, Germany; Warsaw, Poland; KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa; and Shantou, Shanghai, Zhuhai and Hefei, China.
A 10th location will open this year in Beccles, England, Pennington said.
Tooling services have been and continue to be a critical component of Berry's manufacturing capabilities, he added.
"As a centralized capability, Berry Global Tooling Services operates across our four divisions of production," Pennington said. "What has historically been an internal cost savings and efficiency strength across Berry's over 265 locations is also promoted as an advantage to its customers, helping ensure molds are delivered as quickly as possible with the least amount of back and forth and added costs of other suppliers."
In addition to faster turnarounds, Pennington said Berry customers will have greater assurance that the molds will match appropriately with the production lines Berry works on every day.
The new tooling division also will help customers reduce shipping costs and lead times; improve access to refurbishment options, reverse engineering expertise and emergency repairs; and minimize risk to compromising intellectual property.
"The experts across our business are dedicated to meeting the needs of customers, regardless of their location or product specifications. As a converter, we understand the high-quality end products our customers expect," Pennington said.